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Herman Franks

Manager of Giants, Cubs

Herman Franks, 95, who managed the San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs, died of multiple organ failure Monday at his home in Salt Lake City, according to his son Dan.


Franks replaced Alvin Dark as Giants manager after the 1964 season and led the team to four consecutive second-place finishes during his tenure as manager from 1965 to 1969.

With the Cubs from 1977 to 1979, his undistinguished teams finished fourth, third and fifth. He later served as the team’s interim general manager through most of 1981.

The 1965 season was marked by an ugly incident when Giants pitcher Juan Marichal hit Dodgers catcher John Roseboro over the head with a baseball bat. Franks finished his major league managing career with a record of 605 wins and 521 losses.

Franks was born in Price, Utah, on Jan. 4, 1914. He was a standout high school athlete in Salt Lake City, playing football, basketball, baseball and competing in track and field.

According to his son, he left college during his freshman year at the University of Utah to sign with the Hollywood Stars of the Pacific Coast League. He joined the St. Louis Cardinals in 1939 and was with the Brooklyn Dodgers for the 1940 and 1941 seasons before serving in the Navy during World War II. After the war, he played with the Philadelphia A’s and finished his playing career with the New York Giants in 1949 before serving the team as a coach.

He also worked in the Giants organization as a scout and minor league manager until returning to the team as a coach in the early 1960s and then being hired as manager.


-- times staff reports